I discovered an article yesterday that lists the top three things labor and delivery nurses wish that women knew about childbirth (compiled from a poll created by the Perinatal Advisory Council). Take a look -- this is positive, encouraging advice from the women who work in the trenches!
1. Almost all agree women should take labor and delivery classes (94%)
- "Usually the more prepared women are the better the experience. The fear factor decreases and with it so does the pain."
- "Women think that watching The Baby Story and similar shows on TLC, etc., is preparation for childbirth, and is realistic. This is not the typical birth experience."
- "It should be mandatory for women to take classes prior to childbirth for the labor and delivery and baby care/breastfeeding experience."
- "I believe it helps the mothers be more informed, realistic and work well with labor and delivery and care of themselves and newborn."
2. Most believe a pregnant woman should prepare a birth plan (79.8%)
- "Developing a birth plan takes conscious thought and may assist (especially first time) mothers with being more informed about options."
- "A birth plan is good as long as they are aware of the need to be flexible with it and not expect for everything to go exactly as planned."
- "I think creating a birth plan can be an educational experience for the patient. However, I've noticed a lot of people use pre-made birth plans from the Internet, which doesn't really help them to be more knowledgeable about the process of labor of delivery. I'm not convinced simply having a birth plan will help patient's to be more knowledgeable or prepared about the process."
- "Birth plans must be created with a health care professional who understands the realities of what is available at our particular hospital."
3. More than half welcome (the right) doulas (63.3%)
- "It depends on the doula; some are great and some interfere with nursing care."
- "A doula can be a great support if a woman is trying to have an unmedicated delivery. A woman really needs one-to-one care when she is laboring without any pain meds."
- "Continual labor support from a confident and knowledgeable support person makes a huge difference in outcomes."
- "Doulas can be helpful as long as they are supportive, not adversarial with the nursing staff."